Synopses & Reviews
"When an individual acquires great power, the use or misuse of that power is everything. Will it be used for the greater good, or will it be used for personal, or for destructive, ends?"
--Charles Xavier, Professor X, Founder of the X-Men.
X-Menis one of the most popular comic book franchises ever, with successful spin offs that include several cartoon series, bestselling videogames, feature films, and merchandise. In the X-Verse, the X-Men are labeled "mutants" for their powerful and special abilities. Wolverine has a healing ability that makes him virtually indestructible. Cyclops has raw laser energy emanating from his eyes. Phoenix has the power of telekinesis and telepathy. These abilities make them more powerful than all other humans, but the measure of a mutant lies in how he or she chooses to use their ability. Timed to publish with the release of the prequel movie X-Men Origins: Wolverine,this is the first look at the philosophical issues beneath these characters and their choices, such as identity, human ethics versus mutant morality, and self-sacrifice.
X-Men is one of the most popular comic book franchises ever, with successful spin-offs that include several feature films, cartoon series, bestselling video games, and merchandise. This is the first look at the deeper issues of the X-Men universe and the choices facing its powerful "mutants," such as identity, human ethics versus mutant morality, and self-sacrifice.
J. Jeremy Wisnewski (Oneonta, NY) is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Hartwick College and the editor of Family Guy and Philosophy (978-1-4051-6316-3) and The Office and Philosophy (978-1-4051-7555-5). Rebecca Housel (Rochester, NY) is a professor at Rochester Institute of Technology, where she teaches about writing and pop culture. For William Irwin's biography, please see below.
Is mind reading an invasion of privacy?
What's wrong with genetic experimentation?
How many identities can one person have?
Are the X-Men advocates of civil rightsand social change?
Do mutants have "human" rights?
X-Men is one of the most popular comic-book franchises ever, captivating millions with its teeming X-Verse of genetic mutants who have been unleashing their unique special powers in the service of both good and evil since 1963. Focusing on identity and personal conflict as much as action and adventure, this bestselling series is full of complex characters and storylines that are deeply influenced by important philosophical questions. Through philosophical greats like Aristotle, Sartre, Camus, Levinas, and others, X-Men and Philosophy shows how this remarkable series speaks not only to generations of pop culture audiences, but to the very heart of the human condition.
About the Author
Rebecca Housel is a professor of pop culture, creative writing, and medical humanities at Rochester Institute of Technology and contributed to Monty Python and Philosophy.
J. JEREMY WISNEWSKI is an assistant professor of philosophy at Hartwick College and the editor of Family Guy and Philosophy and The Office and Philosophy.
William Irwin is a professor of philosophy at King's College. He originated the philosophy and popular culture genre of books as coeditor of the bestselling The Simpsons and Philosophy and has overseen recent titles, including Batman and Philosophy, House and Philosophy, and Watchmen and Philosophy.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments: Superheroic Thanks to X-tra Special Humans and Mutants Alike!.
Introduction: You are about to embark on an X-perience with "the strangest heroes of all".
X1-ORIGINS: THE X-FACTOR IN THE EXISTENTIAL.
1. The Lure of the Normal: Who Wouldn’t Want to be a Mutant (Patrick Hopkins)?
2. Amnesia, Personal Identity and the Many Lives of Wolverine (Jason Southworth).
3. Is Suicide Always Moral: Jean Grey, Kant, and The Dark Phoenix Saga (Mark D. White).
4. X-istential X-Men: Jews, Supermen and the Literature of Struggle (Jesse Kavaldo).
X2-EVOLUTION: CONSCIOUSNESS, CONSCIENCE, AND CURE.
5. Mad Genetics: The Sinister Side of Biological Mastery (Andrew Burnett).
6. Layla Miller Knows Stuff: How a Butterfly Can Shoulder the World (George A. Dunn).
7. X-Women and X-istence (Rebecca Housel).
8. Mutant Rights, Torture and X-perimentation (Cynthia McWilliams).
9. When You Know You’re Just a Comic Book Character: Deadpool (Joseph J. Darowski).
X3-UNITED: HUMAN ETHICS AND MUTANT MORALITY IN THE X-VERSE.
10. Magneto, Mutation and Morality (Richard Davis.
11. Professor X Wants You (Christopher Robichaud).
12. Dirty Hands and Dirty Minds: The Ethics of Mindreading and Mindwriting (Andrew Terjesen.
13. The Mutant Cure or Social Change: Debating Disability (Ramona Ilea).
14. Mutants and the Metaphysics of Race (Jeremy Pierce).
X4-THE LAST STAND: WAR, TECHNOLOGY, DEATH, AND MUTANT-KIND.
15. Mutant Phenomonology (J. Jeremy Wisnewski).
16. War and Peace, Power and Faith (Katherine E. Kirby).
17. High-Tech Mythology in X-Men (George Teschner).
Contributors: And Now, We’d Like to Introduce the X-Perts: Ladies and Gentleman, the Amazing, Astonishing, Uncanny, Ultimate Authors from Xavier’s School for Gifted Philosophers!